Profile of home nursing clients with mental health diagnoses: Epidemiological analysis of Australian community home nursing data

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Mental health is an important part of overall health status and mental ill health is common within the community. There is, however, little information relating to the mental health status of those in the community accessing services such as home nursing. The aim of this study is to profile mental health diagnoses and service use of persons accessing a community home nursing service. Retrospective data analysis was conducted of routinely collected administrative data from a service providing community home nursing in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia in 2014. Mental health diagnoses extracted from care records were International Classification of Disease code of 291–299 (Version-9) or F10-F99 (Version-10). Past-year prevalence for mental health diagnoses was 17%; lower than overall Australian prevalence (20%) and prevalence displayed in healthcare settings (25%–36%). The most prevalent class were mood [affective] disorders (7.8%), followed by neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (4.8%). Schizophrenia, schizotypal and delusional disorders prevalence (2.5%) were more than twice that in the population (0.3%–1.0%). Those with a mental health diagnosis received between 40%-80% more visits than those without. These data demonstrate that the profile of mental health disorders in this population is complex, and that those with a mental health diagnosis experience higher care burden than those without. These findings will inform service planning and provision into the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e334–e354
Number of pages21
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • community home nursing
  • district nursing
  • ICD-10
  • ICD-9
  • mental health

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